The mother of an Ivy League athlete who competed against transgender UPenn swimming star Lia Thomas has spoken out.
Following her historic NCAA 500-yard freestyle win back in March 2022, Lia Thomas has come under scrutiny from athletes, experts, and doctors who suggested trans athletes should not be allowed to compete against biological women professionally due to the physical advantage they have.
While international water sports governing body FINA has since already banned trans swimmers who underwent male puberty from competing in women’s races, UPenn doubled down on supporting its top swimmer by nominating Thomas for the Woman of the Year award.
Branding the nomination as “humiliating” and “devastating” was Kim Jones, a former tennis star and the mother of an Ivy League swimmer, who accused the University of Pennsylvania of sending the message that “women don’t matter.”
“[The message says] they’re not even worthy of dignity and comfort in their locker rooms. And this nomination is just the embodiment of that message,” Jones said on Fox & Friends First.
“It’s really frustrating to understand where the current NCAA and Ivy League and especially Penn’s stance is on the value of women in modern society.”
Slamming the nomination was also Riley Gaines, Thomas’ fellow swimmer and nominee for the NCAA’s Woman of the Year award.
“[T]his is yet another slap in the face to women. First a female national title and now nominated for the pinnacle award in collegiate athletics. The NCAA has made this award worthless,” the young lady tweeted.
Meanwhile, tennis star Martina Navratilova said: “Not enough fabulous biological women athletes, NCAA?!? What is wrong with you?!!!!!!!?”
Speaking out against the nomination was also former NCAA champion and the co-founder of Independent Council on Women’s Sports Marshi Smith.
“NCAA needs to acknowledge fundamental truths. There is a biological difference between men and women. And if we can’t agree that that foundational truth is a reality, then how can we protect our girls and women?” Smith said on Fox as she joined Jones.
Jones added: “That’s what all that effort, all those hours, all that hard work and the journey that was supposed to be so empowering and fulfilling has been reduced to something that people think is a sideshow. It’s really frustrating.”
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